The New World School Private bears not only an odd name, but an interesting mix of curricula. Historically a school that followed the UAE Ministry of Education curriculum, NWPS now offers the IB Primary Years Programme from KG to Grade 3. The school is located in Al Twar, in the heart of the city.
The story so far...
Established in Dubai in 2005, New World Private School (NWPS) is a KG to Grade 12 school that originally offered the UAE Ministry of Education curriculum only. For reasons that are not immediately clear, the school subsequently decided to introduce the International Baccalaureate programme in 2017, which is currently offered from KG 1 to Grade 3 in the Primary school, where children follow the PYP (Primary Years Programme). Currently, from Grade 4, children revert to the MoE curriculum, but the school retains the option for students to be taught Maths and Science in English through to Grade 12.
It is not clear whether the IB programme will be extended throughout the school, although the school website states that "New World Private School has become a candidate school for the "IB" Primary Years Programme. The school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that New World Private School believes is important for our students".
NWPS was related to the New World American Private School located in Sharjah. However, as of April 2019, the American branch has been renamed Emirates American School and, we believe, is now under different ownership. The NWPS branch in Dubai appears to be under the ownership of Aspin Holdings, a diversified group owned by Mr. Ahmed Mir Hashim Khoory, formerly of Emirates Airlines.
NWPS states that its vision is: "To enable our students become lifelong learners, global citizens, innovative and successful 21st century leaders".
Its mission is "To provide high quality education that enables students to develop 21st century skills, build their leadership capacities, and strengthens their heritage and globalization by adapting internationally recognized education practices and governance".
Further, the Principal explains that NWPS is a "student-centric organization, aiming at cultivating new generations with outstanding interpersonal and academic skills, to keep pace with the ever-changing world by instilling leadership, responsibility, social, moral and Muslim values in our students to excel and compete locally and internationally".
The school says that it strives to implement the world’s best educational practices, to enhance students’ talents and develop their skills, to strengthen the students’ educational and cultural awareness, and to instill in them the patriotic, social and Islamic principles. The focus on the delivery of best education practices may go some way to explaining the addition of IB programme.
Based on the KHDA's 2018-19 inspection report, NWPS has some 1,300 students studying at the school of whom just under 40% are Emirati. The predominant ethnicity of students is Arab. Students are supported by 90 teachers and 5 teaching assistants - the majority from Egypt - with a teacher:student ratio of 1:14. This is a relatively low ratio that should permit individualised support for students. Teacher turnover, at 38% in 2018, is very much on the high side - something that must be a concern. Average turnover in international schools is between 20-22%. The current Principal, Sannah El-Hassany, joined the school in 2018, and is therefore relatively new to the position.
What about the facilities?
The facilities of the school are expansive with an area of 200,000 sq ft. The school building consists of two separate sections for boys and girls with dedicated entrances for each. The building features a broad range of up to date facilities including six computer labs, each equipped with 25 computers, five science labs, two music rooms equipped with a range of musical instruments, a music system and a sound system, and an art room.
Sports facilities include an air-conditioned multi-purpose indoor sports used for sports including football to basketball, handball, volleyball, Badminton, gymnastics, and two indoor swimming pools: a 4-lane community pool and a learner pool. The school also has an outdoor Soccer pitch covered with artificial grass and spot lights and an outdoor Basket Ball court.
A canteen segregated for boys and girls, an 800 seat auditorium, Interior playing areas, the School library and prayer rooms are among the other common facilities.
What the inspectors say
Unfortunately, for all the ambition that the school clearly has, its ability to deliver against those ambitions is still somewhat in doubt. Having been rated Acceptable - the minimum expectation by the KHDA - for four years in a row, the inspection report throws up some concerns.
Students' achievement is broadly acceptable, with improvements in Arabic and Islamic Education to Good in terms of progress. There has also been improvement in progress to Good in the KG for English and Maths. However, Maths attainment is weak in the Middle and High school sections. Students' personal and social development, and their innovations skills are generally Good or Very Good, though social responsibility and innovation are only acceptable. Provision for students of Determination, with additional learning needs is Weak.
However, it is in teaching for effective learning and the adaptation of the curriculum where greater issues lie. Whilst teaching and assessment was found to be broadly acceptable, curriculum design and implementation was also only acceptable (with the exception of KG where it was found to be Good), and the adaptation of the curriculum to meet the needs of individual or groups of students was found to be Weak. All inspections show the correlation between Teaching and Assessment and the Curriculum and Student Achievement. If the former are weak, student achievement will reflect this. The introduction of the IB PYP curriculum has clearly had a positive impact on students in the KG section.
Health and safety arrangements, which had previously been rated Good across the school, were found to be only Acceptable outside of the KG (which retained its good rating). Care and support of students were also rated Acceptable outside of the KG. However, reading between the lines of the recommendations for the school, there are clearly issues related to safety, safeguarding and the behaviour of some boy students.
Perhaps more worryingly, whilst the school is clearly taking steps to address weaknesses, it appears that the new leadership of the school faces considerable challenges. The report notes that "The Principal is setting a strong tone for the school in holding staff accountable for the quality of teaching and raising expectations of students' behaviour and learning...The new PYP coordinator has already had a significant impact in implementing enquiry-based learning for younger students, and is harnessing their enthusiasm for learning. Middle leaders, however, have varied capacity to move the school forward and the school does not have a cohesive leadership team" (our emphasis).
The KHDA inspection team summarised what the school does best as follows:
Key recommendations for improvement are:
Clearly, the owners and governors of the school have recognised the need for it to improve - a very positive step in itself. Additional qualified staff have been employed and training is being provided - however, teachers do not appear to implement changes consistently and there are clear doubts as to the ability of current staff to make the changes required. We can anticipate that staff turnover will continue.
Whilst the majority of measures remain acceptable at New World Private School, the views expressed by the inspection team suggest a school in need of considerable change. We hope for the sake of the students at the school, that the new leadership and governors are able to make the investment in staffing, training and resources without delay. The next inspection in 2019-20 will show what progress has been achieved.
What about fees?
New World Private School operates a two tier fee structure. Fees for students following the MoE curriculum range from AED 11,922 in KG to AED 19,530 in Grade 12. Fees for students in the IB PYP Programme pay AED 50,000 in KG1 rising to AED 56,154 in Grade 3 - however, existing students receive a 50% fee reduction for their time in the school - we assume this is only if they continue in the IB programme and if this is introduced throughout the school in due course.
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